10 of the Weirdest Vehicles in Video Games
Without having to concern themselves with real-world issues like physics, resources, and practicality, video game developers have been able to strap us into some completely outrageous rides over the years. From sports cars to armoured personnel carriers. Anti-gravity speed machines to beach buggies. Hang-glider-equipped karts to Micro Machines, we’ve seen and probably driven them all. In this list, though, we’re highlighting some rides that went that extra mile to become especially awesome, outlandish, or downright mystifying.
That’s right, these curious contraptions and atypical automobiles will do much more than just get you from A to B. They’ll get you plenty of attention, too. So, prepare to be taken on a journey through a virtual showroom of vehicles that defy reality as well as the highway code.
Oh, and we’re not including things like tanks, boats, and flying machines on this list. They’re distinct enough that they could maybe star in their own video one day. Having said that, a couple of entries really do blur the lines, but hopefully you’ll be too busy gawping at this bizarre procession of marvellous motors to notice!
I’m office designated driver, Ashton from TripleJump, and here are 10 of the Weirdest Vehicles in Video Games.
10. The Deuce – Brütal Legend
In real life, a hot rod is a car, typically of American origin, that has been heavily modified or completely rebuilt to maximise speed and acceleration. Always loud, usually sporting flame decals, and often with an exposed, oversized engine, these mean machines are sure to catch the eye as they thunder past, leaving exhaust fumes and awed onlookers in their wake. What better vehicle, then, for the hero of the most metal story ever told in gaming.
Eddie Riggs, the star of 2009’s Brütal Legend, is the proud owner of the Deuce. Also known as the Druid Plow, this vehicle is more than just a hot rod. It is the very concept of heavy metal forged into vehicular form, constructed using the metal flesh of the hard rock deity known as Ormagöden, and summoned by playing a finger-blistering guitar solo. Not only can this metallic beast tear up the landscapes of Brütal Legend with its speed and power, it can also blow it to pieces with missiles, machine guns, mine droppers, and more.
The most important add-on of all, though, is the Mouth of Metal. This hallowed contraption allows the Deuce’s driver to truly experience the glory of metal, as intended by the metal gods themselves. By that I mean it plays music. Metal music. Really loudly.
9. The Drive Girls – Drive Girls
2017’s Drive Girls for the PS Vita is, for the most part, a hack-‘n-slash where you control a female combatant against hordes of enemies. It features combos, weapons, and special attacks; all that usual stuff you might expect from the genre, but also features an interesting twist that earns it a place on this list. Judging by the name of the game, you’d rightly expect there to be driving involved, but these girls don’t get into the cars, they are the cars.
That’s right, Drive Girls enables players to switch their anime girl into vehicle mode at the touch of a button, and race from battle to battle without having to go to the trouble of walking back to the car park or remembering which pocket you put your keys in. You can even attack enemies while in car mode, mowing down opponents or launching into physics-defying spin attacks.
Playable characters include Seven, whose car form appears to be a Mazda RX-7, and Lancier, whose car form resembles a Mitsubishi Lancer. We see what you’re trying to do, Drive Girls.
I do have questions, though. Are they girls who turn into cars, or cars that turn into girls? Who takes care of them when they’re sick, a doctor or a mechanic? Do they pay road tax? We need to know these things!
8. Axel – Twisted Metal
The Twisted Metal franchise is home to a whole fleet of wild rides. The venerable vehicular combat series has been tearing up the track since its inception in 1995, and features many iconic and disturbing driver and vehicle combinations. For now, though, we’re looking at a set of wheels that is little more than just that; wheels, and its name is Axel.
This barebones ride consists of two enormous wheels and not a lot else, with the driver, who is also called Axel, acting as the axle. In order to ensure that Axel’s role as Axel’s axle is feasible, he had metal arms and feet grafted onto his body, truly making him one with the machine.
How did Axel (the character, not the car) end up fused into this careening instrument of destruction? Well, he was apparently attached as some kind of cruel punishment by his sadistic father. He finally tears himself free, but this doesn’t work out as he’d hoped. He finds that being permanently strapped to a pair of oversized wheels is something that he’d grown quite used to, and tracks down a doctor who can surgically reattach him.
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure of Axel’s motivations for reattaching himself to his vehicle. I guess he just wheely missed it.
7. N64 Logo – Top Gear Overdrive
Top Gear Overdrive, unrelated to the hit British TV show, Top Gear, was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. This 3D road-racer offered some slightly more down-to-earth motor sport action on a console that was far more famous for it’s mascot kart-racers, futuristic, anti-gravity driving, and water-based racing.
That’s not to say Top Gear Overdrive was all sensible and strait-laced though, instead rewarding a break-neck racing style with little to no regard for environmental hazards like snow, rocks and cliff-faces. Best not to drive like this in real life. The real world has far more accurate physics and damage modelling.
Anyway, aside from all the seat-of-your-pants racing, Top Gear Overdrive also possesses a handful of zany bonus vehicles. There’s the taco car, with its cute, little tomato slice wheels, and the classic hot dog wiener car also makes an appearance.
We had to go with the motorised Nintendo 64 logo, though. For this bizarre take on an automobile, they simply took the 3D, repeating N logo from the console’s start-up screen and stuck some wheels on it.
Yes, this thing definitely qualifies as a weird vehicle. The wheels aren’t attached, there doesn’t appear to be an engine in sight, and N has got to be one of the least aerodynamic letters in the alphabet. Absolute madness.
6. Sofa – Wreckfest
Many motor vehicles are built for comfort. Such luxurious automobiles provide a home away from home, with heated seats, air conditioning, soothing sound systems, and other such marvels of modern engineering that make getting from A to B as comfortable as stretching out on the sofa.
The developers of 2018’s Wreckfest went one step further than that, presenting the player with a car that is literally just a sofa on wheels, albeit with a pair of intimidating exhausts poking out of it like metallic horns. This would be strange enough if Wreckfest was just your standard racing game, but, if you hadn’t guessed from the title, Wreckfest is a racing game that specialises in destruction.
While driving a sofa around the virtual tracks and arenas of Wreckfest is relatable in a way (considering that most of us play racing games while sitting on one), the juxtaposition of comfy and tastefully-upholstered furniture with the metal-on-metal mayhem that is demolition derby racing is quite something to behold. Then, when the sofa-on-sofa violence isn’t quite mad enough, why not bring a plough-equipped battle bus into the fray and really watch those couch jockeys fly?
Honestly, if you’re going to convert a sofa into a vehicle, adding seatbelts wouldn’t have been a bad idea, guys. Safety first, and all that.
5. Da Vinci’s Tank – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
In 2010’s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, players get to explore the wonders of ancient Rome as assassin extraordinaire, Ezio. This continuation of Ezio’s story features that all-important parkour and murder combination that the series is so famous for. It also continues the series tradition of bringing venerated historical figures into the mix, and one such long-dead dignitary is renowned polymath, Leonardo Da Vinci. At one point in the game, Ezio even gets the opportunity to drive one of his inventions.
While it might seem that this vehicle would be more at home on a list of cool tanks, Da Vinci’s Tank is actually more of an armoured car in design and operation. Also, it’s not very cool, if players and reviewers of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood are to be believed. The section in which players control this contraption is derided as a clunky and frustrating affair that is at odds with the pace of the rest of the game.
If you’re going for full synchronisation on this mission, then we can only wish you good luck, as you have to avoid all damage, and enemy cannons become more accurate as you progress. Oh, and the bad guys have access to a couple of similarly-armed, combat-ready contraptions, too.
Appropriately, the mission is called “Hell on Wheels”. Touché, Ubisoft.
4. Pork Bean – Mother 3
2006 Game Boy Advance RPG, Mother 3, is always a good shout for a bit of video game weirdness. It showed up in our outrageous mounts list a while ago with its rideable coffee table, and here it is again with the Pork Bean. What is a Pork Bean, you ask? Well, it’s a floating bean, with a fin and a little piggy nose. Wasn’t that obvious?
This hovercraft-like vehicle is used by protagonist, Lucas, and his companions in Chapter 5, where it is ridden around the expansive Highway area. Travelling at many times the characters’ running speed, and capable of smashing through enemies with ease, this vehicle is quite the boon for the party, making traversing the world and dealing with encounters a cinch.
It’s a shame, then, that the original Pork Bean ends up crashing by slipping on a banana peel. No, I don’t understand how a hovercraft slips on a banana peel, either, and seemingly neither does the game as it happens off-screen. Still, a replacement Pork Bean is just around the corner.
The party can eventually get its hands on a Mr. Saturn Pork Bean, too. This Pork Bean model has a large, protruding nose and a single hair with a bow on it, because … well, why the heck not at this point, really?
3. Koopa Clown Car – Mario Series
It’s strange that, as a community, we gamers seem to have just accepted that one of the industry’s most infamous villains rides around in what amounts to a cute little ball with a clown face on it. Shouldn’t Bowser have something a bit more … you know, intimidating?
Despite being a flying contraption, this vehicle is most commonly known as the Koopa Clown Car, and first appeared in 1990’s Super Mario World for the SNES. First glimpsed in the background of the Valley of Bowser map screen, the Koopa Clown Car initially has a slightly intimidating vibe, showing up as a grinning silhouette when lightning illuminates the sky. It’s not long before it’s revealed to be a cheery little bubble-copter with a happy little face, though, and all sense of menace has gone.
This strange-but-iconic vehicle reappears throughout Bowser’s history, and finally becomes an actual car in more recent Mario Kart games.
It’s definitely recognisable, and I suppose its ability to change expression gives it a bit of a sinister vibe, but still, you’d think King Koopa himself would want to ride around in a monster truck or something. Hey Bowser! How about this Turtle Tenderizer from TMNT: Shredders Revenge? Look, it’s even got a shell! Seems tailor-made, really.
2. I.R.I.S. – LocoCycle
You know those light cycles from Tron. They were pretty cool, right? Now imagine if they had minds of their own and violent intentions. That’s basically what you’ve got with I.R.I.S., the vehicular star of Twisted Pixel Studio’s 2013 racing game, LocoCycle.
Not only is I.R.I.S. a cool, futuristic-looking motorcycle with neat, glowy bits, but she also has a personality of her own, can travel at nearly 200 miles-per-hour, and possesses a cloaking mode. Oh, and she’s a trained assassin. Probably should’ve mentioned that bit earlier, it’s quite important.
However, it soon becomes clear that I.R.I.S. isn’t happy with her lot in life. She breaks away from her creators to attend a motorcycle rally, and is pursued by the military and another weapons-grade A.I. motorcycle named S.P.I.K.E.. Needless to say, many high-speed chases and vehicular combat scenes ensue.
In the footage, you may have noticed that there is something hanging off of I.R.I.S.’s back wheel. This is Pablo, her hapless mechanic, who is a literal and unwilling hanger-on for the entire game. I.R.I.S. even goes so far as to use him as a weapon. Not cool, I.R.I.S., humans are people too, you know.
1. Log – Need for Speed II
Need for Speed II hails from a time when the titanic franchise was just another racing game, rather than a series of fast and furious tales about edgy, slick-driving protagonists living outside the law. This second game in the series does make a few additions to the formula, though, including the ability to tweak performance by adjusting tyres, gear ratios and other such technical things that car enthusiasts like to talk about in their garages.
The game features various real-world, high-end rides for players to drive around in, including the McClaren F1 and the Ferrari F40, but also had a couple of slightly bonkers unlockables, too.
We can’t not mention the hilariously stiff T-Rex car, but we have to give it to the log. I mean look at it, it’s literally a log. The type that you might see being hauled around on the back of truck trailers. Except the developers did away with the truck and the trailer and pretty much everything else and literally just stuck wheels on a log.
I know, some of the other wacky rides on this list are maybe more deserving of the top spot, but when it came down to it, we just couldn’t resist putting a long bit of wood in pole position.